As you may have seen I have all my portraits professionally mounted by my framer. These can be any sizes as mentioned in a previous blog post. Rolo here was mounted to 12″ x 16″.
SUPER CUTE ALERT!! I had the pleasure of meeting Rolo yesterday and I can confirm he is just as cute in person as he is in the reference photo I had for this portrait. His owner Frank is a keen photographer who takes some truly fantastic photos. He captured this moment of Rolo sat in the Bluebells perfectly. I was very excited to start it as soon as I was asked <3
The full time lapse video will be coming soon. This time I have shown how I approached this background. All done in pastels on A4 size (8.3″ x 11.7″).
I have picked up my original mouse drawing from my framers after he mounted it for me :).
This little guy I am thinking will be one of a mouse series as I have access to some really cute reference photos :D.
This original drawing is up for sale at a bargain price 😀 Scroll down for more info!
£45 FREE UK P&P!!
5″ X 7″
Original Colour Pencil & Pastel Drawing (mixed media)
Pastel was used to create that soft glow behind the mouse and the mouse itself was done using colour pencils.
Professionally mounted to 8″ x 10″ to fit a standard size frame.
Reference photo: Paul Fine
The full video of me working on this portrait is available to watch over on my YouTube channel 😀
Why do I mount all my pieces?
It’s only since I started offering pastel portraits that I decided to get my framer to mount all of my portraits. Pastels require a special mount so I knew this was something I wanted to include as part of the portrait just for my piece of mind that all pastel artwork will all be protected as they ideally should. I then got much more satisfaction seeing them going off to their new homes mounted as I feel it finishes off the portrait.
For most portraits, if clients are not intending on having them professionally framed the mounts can be made to fit a standard size frame. Often an A4 portrait will have a 12″ x 16″ mount. For USA portraits a 11″ x 14″ mount works well for A4 as well as from my research this is a common frame size for USA. So these mount sizes can be altered to suit your specific needs.
In terms of custom sizes such as the above I had a 2 inch mount put on. An equal 2 inches all the way round as these pieces would need to be professionally framed. Custom size portraits especially something this size (30cm x 55cm) would need to be taken to a framer near you for you and them to match the perfect frame to your portrait :).
What do I do?
I have many portraits, pets and wildlife, in my house. I have got some framed but others are also shop bought standard frames. It depends on what you’re looking for, budget and just your preference. There are many really nice frames in shops which are convenient and easily available. No right or wrong answer but I do LOVE the finish and extra special frame choices you get with a professional framer. The quality of frame is no where near the same but that would be expected. More mounts below which my framer did for me :).
I can now share with you the portrait I finished last week of Cash. A very smiley, super cute Jack Russel. That tongue! Being local, I was able to have the pleasure of hand delivering this portrait to his mum :).
I have been desperate to share his portrait with you for weeks. It was finally given to his dad for a surprise Father’s Day gift and he loved it! It was so lovely to hear just how much the portrait is being cherished.
Ranger is a sweet, gentle and kind soul who in a couple of weeks time will be kept very busy with a 8 week sister! Another blue Staffie <3.
This is an A4 (8.3″ x 11.7″) Pastel Drawing and the full time lapse video which I will share here tomorrow will show how I approached this complex piece. I did use artistic licence with the heather in the foreground. This was fairly long in the reference and covered 80% of the collar buckle and tag. The client had requested the collar stayed in and was an important part of the piece. It’s the collar he always wears so was vital that it was on show. So I brought down the heather to make sure that the collar was more visible but still ensuring the heather was balanced and looked natural.
The expression in the reference, the lighting was just perfect. I honestly couldn’t wait to start this portrait and is was a pleasure from start to finish.
Last week I had the pleasure of capturing this sweet Yorkie :). Sadly, Jodie is no longer with us and his owner misses him dearly.
There are times when the reference photograph I am asked to use does not have the detail or quality I ideally need. The photo I had of Jodie was an old photo so the quality was lacking however the lighting was good. There was a nice light source that although did create a strong shadow on one side of his face it did mean it hinted at the general direction of the fur. In the reference you couldn’t see his right eye so I did lighten this area fractionally and add the subtle highlights to make the eye visible. Not adding to much light as to ensure we didn’t stray to far from the original. It was still important to capture the lighting which is what drew me to accept working with the photo :).
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A4 (8.3″ x 11.7″) Colour Pencil Drawing
Here is the full time lapse video of Cleo’s recent A4 (8.3″ x 11.7″) pastel drawing I recently finished. Since drawing Cleo, I cannot wait to start the next cat portraits I have lined up 😀 One big portrait as well! 14″ x 20″ for 1 subject! LOVE IT!
Here is the finished pastel portrait I have been working on :). I have adored capturing these four beautiful Collies. Seeing all four personalities come together on one portrait has been a real delight.
Layout process for this piece:
Getting the sizing and ratio of each of them was important being that they were set out in this format. Coming up with layouts such as this I always design first in a photo editing software. Trying many background options and positioning of each pet and then forwarding these onto the client for them to pick their favourite. During this design process any tweaks can be made. From making one or more of the dogs bigger or smaller, swapping any of them round to change the order to possibly changing the reference photos entirely if they do not work the layout. It’s during this process that we can make these changes easily. So that when I come to starting the portrait everything is in place and me and my client know just how their portrait will look when finished.
I strive to achieve the personality and characteristics of every pet I am asked to capture. I am not wanting to draw ‘A Collie, a Labrador, a Spaniel’ but rather that is ‘Ruby, Roxy, Tia and Teddy’. Knowing a little about each of their personalities in some ways makes me feel like I know the pets that I am drawing. So from left to right in their owners words we have:
🐾 Ruby is 14 this year, the old lady of the pack. She is a special girl with the sweetest nature ever. She was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 3 which has affected her in many ways so we are truly blessed that she is still with us.
🐾 Roxy is a 13 this year. She is a rescue with a strong working ethic. Had a difficult start in life but is now the most beautiful, trusting and respectful dog. She is at her happiest when she is pleasing you.
🐾 Tia is 6 years old. She is the crazy one of the bunch. Really quirky, highly strung but loyal and protective. She also loves doing agility and competes at Championship level. A true sweetheart.
🐾 Teddy is 6 years old. He is a big boy with a lovely soft, nature. He is bright and keen to please. He loves doing agility and now competes at Championship level and has represented the Isle of Man at Crufts for the past 2 years. Truly a man’s best friend.
I am in the process of editing together the full time lapse video. As you can imagine there is a lot of hours to put together so it’s taking a little longer! Later today at 6pm Cleo the black cat’s time lapse video will be uploaded to my YouTube channel and shared on my Facebook page. Head across this evening if you’d like to see her come together :).
Billie was posted off this morning and is making her way across the other side of the world to Australia! I had the pleasure of drawing her brother Buddy last year. Both A4 (8.3″ x 11.7″) size portrait. Buddy’s was in colour pencil and a full body portrait but for Billie her mum opted for a pastel head and shoulder type portrait on the warm grey paper :).